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Korean J Anesthesiol > Volume 46(6); 2004 > Article
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology 2004;46(6):S17-S21.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4097/kjae.2004.46.6.S17   
Pre-emptive Effect of Methylprednisolone on the Mechanical Allodynia Development after Peripheral Nerve Injuries in Rats.
Min Young Lee, Tae Gyoon Yoon, Jung Joon Sung, Hyun Jeong Kim, Kwang Won Yum
1Department of Dental Anesthesiology and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Anesthesiology, Seoul National University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Neurology, Seoul Municipal Boramae Hospital and Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Glucocorticoids have anti-inflammatory effects and have been used to treat many types of nerve injury- associated chronic pain conditions. A randomized double-blind study was performed to determine if methylprednisolone could prevent the development of neuropathic pain after a peripheral nerve injury in rats.
Two groups of rats, one group (n = 50) injected intraperitoneally with methylprednisolone (100 mg/kg/day, for 7 days starting from 3 days prior to the nerve injury) and the other (n = 58) treated with saline with same manner, were compared in terms of the incidence and intensity of allodynia after a superior caudal trunk transection at the level between the 3rd and 4th sacral spinal nerves. The tail-flick responses to normally innocuous mechanical and thermal stimuli applied to the tail were observed as the behavioral signs of neuropathic pain.
The proportions of rats exhibiting tail-flick responses to the mechanical (but not thermal) stimuli 7, 14 and 21 days after the nerve injury were significantly smaller in the methylprednisolone-treated group (2, 3 and 4 of 50 rats, respectively) than in the saline-treated, control group (11, 14 and 15 of 58 rats, respectively) (P = 0.009). However, the pain intensity was similar in mechanical allodynia developed rats of the two groups (P > 0.05), which was estimated based on the frequency and latency of the tail-flick responses after applying mechanical and thermal stimuli, respectively.
These results suggest that a pre-emptive treatment with high methylprednisolone doses may be used to prevent the development of mechanical allodynia following peripheral nerve injuries.
Key Words: allodynia; axotomy; methylprednisolone; neuropathic pain; steroid.
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